That Dragon, Cancer is a game that represents the experiences of the Green family as they lived with and cared for Joel Green, who was diagnosed with brain cancer at 1 year old. Through a variety of metaphorical first-person scenarios, the game recreates what it was like to know and play with Joel, take care of him in the hospital, and receive prognoses from doctors. It is a heart-wrenching game that gives us the opportunity to live a situation we hope to never encounter in real life.
Although Joel passed away in March 2014 at 5 years of age, development of That Dragon, Cancer continues, including a currently-in-progress Kickstarter. In this interview, Joel’s father Ryan Green and the game’s co-creator, Josh Larson, share their memories of Joel and discuss who they made the game for, how they settled on the abstract art style, what the reaction has been to their crowdfunding campaign, why they’re launching on Ouya, and what’s next for the team.